Towson Swim Club Needs More Members To Secure Loan

According to the Towson Swim Club's board, the club needs more than 100 members by the end of February or the project could be terminated.

Towson Swim Club needs 135 new members to stay afloat.

That was the message the pool's board delivered to its membership last week, as the swim club charts a rough course to a May 2013 opening.

"We will terminate the project, finally and fatally, if by Feb. 29 we haven't hit our goal," said , a West Towson resident and member of the swim club's board, in an interview.

The project has hit several financial and logistic snags in the past. In 2010, several residents in nearby Southland Hills to level an adjacent wooded area. Once planned to open for Memorial Day 2011, the swim club will either be ready for the start of pool season in 2013 or be terminated.

The swim club is slated to be built on the corner of Bosley Avenue and Towsontown Boulevard on land leased from Baltimore County.

Why the rush for the end of next month? The swim club needs to pay $30,000 for an engineering contract, then file for wastewater management and other environmental permits. That process, Glikin said, can take four to six months.

The board told members on Jan. 26 that to secure one of two loans, the financial institutions want the club to have the backing of at least 315 members by Feb. 29 for either a $400,000 or $484,000 loan.

"If we have 315 members signed up ... we feel very confident that we can make this project work," Glikin said.

In 2010, the project looked like it was headed for relatively smooth sailing, when a private investor stepped up to fund the project. That investor backed out due to a management shakeup that had nothing to do with the pool, Glikin said. The swim club then spent much of 2011 reassessing the loan climate and finally got the loan offers in December.

The presentation given to members last week is attached to this story.

The swim club currently has $318,000 in member funds in an escrow account, that will not be touched until the engineering contract is paid. The money will be refunded if the pool does not move forward. The $68,000 spent so far on legal fees, design and other expenses have come out of the 17 board members' own pockets.

And even with the money raised through memberships and the loan, the board would likely need to raise $150,000 to cover the rest of the pool's $1.4 million construction costs through donations and other financing.

A membership drive in 2009 gained the club nearly 200 members. It has 180 remaining now. Glikin said that with enough help from the current members, the club can reach the goal.

"We've had a lot of members who are really enthusiastic and realize how good this can be for the community," Glikin said.

Joining the pool costs a total of $2,500, plus membership fees, when the pool opens. Glikin said all the the swim club needs is to see that enough residents have paid the application fee.

"Everybody (who is already a member) should find at least a person to sign up to become a member and there are a number of benefits that someone could get by being a member," Glikin said, including the ability to transfer a membership when you sell your home.

To sign up, visit the swim club's website.

mr southland February 24, 2012 at 02:50 PM
Josh, You know from the early meetings that there are 3 options for this "corner". The pool, rec center/basketball court or a small county park that had funding in place to create a park. Since the pool is not going to happen, move on with the park. All the talk about gas stations, etc is rumor and not based on facts. You should have approached the existing families to add an extra $1000 to get it built already....we would have. For several years, the membership has been stuck and constant...same old story from the board...if/when they responded or attempted to communicate with ALL residents in Southland and surrounding areas. The ravine also became a point of contention and caused a lot of tension among residents closer to the pool. Politics and cliques exist within our community and until those who "hold themselves higher" recognize this, the pool idea will be a distant memory.
mr southland February 24, 2012 at 02:58 PM
Mr. Marks, The county told everyone at the original community meetings several years ago that funding was in place to provide a small park, much like the one across the street. However, they were willing to lease land to the community for a pool. The other venue mentioned was a rec center/indoor basketball court becuase basketball courts were needed for rec leagues and local schools were clamping down on the use of their courts. Since the pool is not going to happen, then where is my park as the alternative? All talk of commercial enterprises would go against the entire community. The leadership surrounding the pool could have done a better job of "selling it" such as asking current members to kick in $1000 more and get it built, since they have always talked of new members coming on board once ground was broken/pool built. They also set aside nearby resident complaints about parking that would occur during the week and particularly weekends from pool members...despite all the talk of "walking" to the pool. Most people won't even walk to the local corner store of ice cream business.
Bart February 25, 2012 at 03:02 AM
Thank you, Mr Southland. Finally, someone has come forward with the SAME information I heard in meetings oh so many years ago! It has always seemed to me that the deck was stacked against the other, not so well financially blessed communities in the area. Read: not Southland Hills or West Towson, home of the attorney/shadow government of Towson.. The saying at our neighborhood was: Riderwood Hills got a Jail, Southland Hills got a pool. If they can't come through with the bucks, let it become a total community open park; not just an exclusive "Country club" for the locals......and I don't care for their lame explanations that they will welcome "Seniors" from BYKOTA, or "underprivledged kids" from the "Y". They have set the fees so unattainably high, that not only can the residents of other Towson neighborhoods not afford to participate, but they have priced themselves out of the market.
Josh Glikin February 27, 2012 at 02:52 PM
Bart, that is ridiculous. Part of West Towson is actually closer to then jail than Riderwood HIlls and overlooks it. And, Southland Hills had a jail in it for more than 100-years, decades before Riderwood Hills was even on a developer's radar. Our neighborhoods were also the forefront of the fight against the jail,and we also joined against the plan to build high-rise buildings in place of The Colony, which would have impacted your neighborhood more than West Towson. And, we have a lot of very dedicated residents who spend countless hours working to improve the entire Towson area. We want Riderwood Hills to grow and prosper just like every other neighborhood. Finally, we did not "get a pool" - we were told we have to pay for it. And it costs a lot of money to build a pool. We've done our best to try to make it a reality but to post an "anonymous" blog trashing two communities and saying that they're getting preferential treatment, or suggesting that we've priced the pool with the intent to shut a group of people or a neighborhood out, is insulting. So, why don't you post blogs using your true identities so we can have a real conversation? As I see it, a comment has no real value if it's posted anonymously. If you truly believe it, put your name on it.
Bill McAllen April 30, 2012 at 03:38 AM
Hey JDStuts: If a dog park is such a stupid idea then why is it happening here? http://www.baltimoresun.com/explore/baltimorecounty/publications/booster-reporter/ph-br-honeygo-run-dog-park-0426-20120425,0,4168183.story


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